You may have used habit trackers as a classroom management tool, but have you ever thought about incorporating them into your lessons to encourage student engagement?
Framing your lessons around real-world examples that are age-appropriate for your class can help your students see themselves in the topic. This can also be applied to energy efficiency.
Learning ways to cut down on energy bills may be interesting to an adult, but it might not have the same impact on a child or teenager. A habit tracker can demonstrate to students how energy efficiency can show up and make an impact in their everyday lives.
WHAT’S A HABIT TRACKER?
A habit tracker is a tool to help you record each time you’ve accomplished a task, making it easy to monitor your habits. You can think of it like a to-do list that’s focused on building stronger habits. Habit trackers have been shown to be effective because they provide a visual reminder to complete the task, allowing you to become more mindful of your behaviours and encourage consistency and self-accountability.
HOW TO CREATE A HABIT TRACKER WITH YOUR STUDENTS
Anyone can use a habit tracker!
Educators with younger students can lead a brainstorming session where each child can contribute ideas on how they can save energy. Those with older students can challenge them to create their own habit tracker.
Get started with these three easy steps:
Step 1: Choose your energy-efficient habits
One of the most important parts of creating a habit tracker is deciding what habits you want to build.
Here’s a list of ideas to get your class going:
- Unplug electronics at night
- Turn off the lights in an empty room
- Take shorter showers
- Use a clothesline or drying rack to dry your clothes
It’s a good idea to pick a balance of realistic tasks and ones that your students think might be challenging. You can also remind your students that they can start small and add on more habits as they get more comfortable.
Step 2: Break down the details
Next, have your students decide how frequently they want to track each habit. Depending on the task, it may be their goal to try to accomplish it daily, weekly, or monthly. There may even be some tasks that are seasonal.
The format of the habit tracker will depend on the tasks and their frequencies. Most commonly, you’ll use a chart to write down each habit and check it off each time it’s completed. Let your students get creative with the design. Some common habit tracker formats include simple checklists, calendars, dot grids, and wheels.
Step 3: Start tracking your habits
Your class is now ready to track their habits! Don’t forget to remind your students to be patient. Building long-lasting habits takes time, and it’s okay to learn and make changes along the way.
Generation E’s Classroom Checklist resource is a great habit tracker that you can bring into the classroom.
Begin by downloading the checklist and accompanying lesson plan. Then, print off the checklist and make it reusable by laminating the page (you can also request a printed copy from the Generation E team). Students will complete each task and using a dry-erase marker to tick them off. Wipe off the list at the end of each day, and get ready to start again!
Habit trackers are a great way to set energy-saving goals and celebrate the progress your students are making! To find more energy efficiency activities for your classroom, check out our resources page.